Lucia, or St Lucy’s Day, is one of the very few saint days observed in Scandinavia. Usually a procession is headed by one girl (Lucia) wearing a crown of candles, while the rest in the procession hold only a single candle each. In private context, the tradition is that Lucia comes very early in the morning, bringing coffee, lussekatter, and ginger biscuits.
The original of the Lucia image above was painted by Jenny Nyström (1854-1946), an illustrator best known as creator of the Swedish jultomte by linking the Santa Claus tradition to the gnomes of Scandinavian folklore in her images.
(If you want to see more of her pictures, just do a Google Images search on her name.)
PS. For photos from the crowning of my town’s Lucia (at the Christmas Market last Saturday), see my other blog: DawnTreader’s Picture Book - FMTSO: What Lights Up My Town in December